Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

Survey: People Hate a Gas Tax Hike, Unless It Pays for Something

false

The federal gas tax hasn't been raised in decades, but the idea of doing something about it seems like a political nonstarter in Washington because everyone knows how much people hate higher gas taxes. Shane Phillips at Network blog Better Institutions says maybe public sentiment is a little more nuanced than that, if you look at a recent survey by the Mineta Transportation Institute:

It’s taken as axiomatic at this point that attempting to raise gas taxes is political suicide, so we want to know what alternatives might be palatable to the American public, and whether gas taxes are really as anathema as they’re often portrayed.

When poll respondents were asked how they felt about a ten-cent gas tax increase (from 18 cents to 28 cents per gallon), support was abysmal at just 23%. However, support increased when a use was specified for the additional funds, and every suggested use received greater than 50% support:

This encompasses basically every possible use of gas taxes, including some that are arguably illegal under current law, but Americans support it all when you actually tell them what it’s for. Most people, of course, aren't aware that the Highway Trust Fund has been a net recipient of tens of billions of dollars over the last several years (or that there is a thing called the Highway Trust Fund, probably). But really, what do people think gas taxes are currently spent on? Medicare?

Elsewhere on the Network today: Transitized explains why advertising by car companies is so deceptive. And Urban Milwaukee reports on the city's demo bike-share station, which could lead to a 25-station system soon.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SUV Driver Kills Girl, 3, in Harlem, Wounds Mom And Young Brothers

The girl's death marks another grim entry into a crisis of pedestrian traffic deaths this year.

July 12, 2024

Moped and E-Bike Safety Legislation Becomes State Law

Retailers must register mopeds at the point of sale, in addition to giving new owners safety information, under new legislation signed by Gov. Hochul on Thursday.

July 12, 2024

Roadway Dining May See Dramatic Decline Under Eric Adams As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024
See all posts